Colombia: Emergency aid for refugees from Venezuela
We are active in Northern Colombia, which is particularly affected by the stream of migrants and refugees from Venezuela. There are hardly any state structures here to help people.
With our emergency aid project in the La Guajira Department, which we are executing in collaboration with partner organisations, we are providing better living conditions for the refugees. Since many of the refugees are malnourished, we place a special focus on medical check-ups and provide medication and therapeutic supplementary food. We also distribute cash and materials to enable people to lead dignified lives.
According to official government and UNHCR figures, by mid-2018 there were already over one million Venezuelans in Colombia. There are also 230,000 Colombian returnees from Venezuela.
Especially in the poor border regions of Colombia, conditions are deteriorating daily. Poverty, disease and malnutrition are serious problems among these groups.
Especially in the border areas of Colombia's second poorest department, La Guajira, there are deficits in all areas. Public services do not have sufficient capacity to provide a humane reception for the fugitives. Furthermore, humanitarian aid is only being mobilised gradually.
We want to use our project to improve the current desolate living conditions of the refugees and Colombian returnees from Venezuela in La Guajira. We are doing this particularly in the areas of:
- medical care
- meeting basic needs
- In rural areas, we deploy a mobile medical team that provides medical care to the populace and supplies them with medicines, food and supplements.
- We carry out medical check-ups and inform people about important hygiene measures and vaccination precautions so that diseases cannot spread.
- We carry out malnutrition tests, especially on women and children. If malnutrition is diagnosed, we treat sufferers with supplementary medical food.
- We offer the refugees psychosocial care services, which are carried out by a psychologist and a social worker.
- In our health campaigns, we educate people about Colombia's medical care system, our medical services and simple preventive health measures.
- We provide cash assistance to families as well as materials to cover people’s basic needs. For instance, hygiene kits contain soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene articles.
Our relief activities in Riohacha and the surrounding remote areas support vulnerable indigenous peoples, families with pregnant women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Overall, we want to use this project to improve the health situation of about 12,000 vulnerable refugees, migrants and returnees from Venezuela.
Area: 1,138 km²
Population: 47.9 Million
Duration: September 2018 - August 2019
Donors: German Federal Foreign Office, Aktion Deutschland Hilft
Partners: Order of Malta Colombia, Asociación de Biólogos de la Universidad del Atlántico (ABIUDEA)
Last updated: October 2018